14.6.09

Chapter 9: Majorca, September 2005


MAJORCA, SEPTEMBER 2005

Madeleine McCann is two and a half years old and the twins just a few months when they go on holiday to Majorca with their parents. Three couples and their children go with them: David and Fiona Payne with their one-year-old daughter (Fiona is pregnant with their second child); S. and T., with their two children aged 1 and 3; finally S.G. and K.G., who have a one and a half year old daughter, E. (K.G., is also expecting a child). The trip was organised by David Payne. The latter rented a villa big enough to accommodate all of them.

S.G. got to know Madeleine's mother at university in Dundee, between 1987 and 1992. K.G. met Gerry McCann for the first time at his wedding to Kate in 1998. They become good friends, see each other regularly, spend weekends together and phone each other often.

After dinner on the third or fourth evening in Majorca, the friends are all settled on the patio. They are having a drink and chatting when K.G. witnesses a scene which flabbergasts her and makes her fear for the safety of her daughter and the other children. She is sitting between Gerry McCann and David Payne when she hears the latter ask if she - probably Madeleine - did "that": he then puts a finger in his mouth and begins sucking it while putting it in and out - the sexual connotation is obvious - while with the other hand, he traces small small circles around his nipple in an explicitly provocative way. While K.G., stupefied, regards Gerry and David, an uneasy silences settles around the table. Then they all start chatting again as if nothing happened. K.G. starts to distrust the way David Payne relates to the little ones. On another occasion, she sees David Payne making the same gestures while speaking about his own daughter. At this time, it's the fathers who give the children their baths, but K.G. no longer lets Payne near her daughter. After the holiday, K.G. will only meet the Paynes on one occasion, and she will not speak to them. Over the next two years, relations between K.G., S.G. and the McCanns becomes distanced; they will only see each other now at children's birthday parties.

This witness statement from the couple, S.G. and K.G., is taken by the English police on May 16th, thirteen days after Madeleine's disappearance. That information, very important for the progress of the investigation, was never sent to the Portuguese police. When the Portuguese investigators learn about similar events that allegedly took place during a holiday in Greece - without, however, obtaining reliable witness statements -, they tell the English police, who, even at this point, refrain from revealing what they know on the subject.

It will only be after my removal from the investigation, in October 2007, that this statement will finally be sent to the Portuguese police. Why did the British keep it secret for more than six months? It is all the more surprising that David Payne, who had planned the trip to Majorca - of whom it was known that his behaviour towards the children was, to say the least, questionable -, is the same person who organised the holiday in Portugal, that he is one of those closest to Madeleine and that he is the first friend of the family to have been seen with Kate McCann just after the disappearance (we will talk further about this). He was still present in Vila da Luz when the English police received that witness statement: why wasn't he interviewed immediately? Without doubt, the Portuguese police could have made progress with the investigation thanks to that lead: such behaviour would merit close attention. Were we looking in the right direction? Might we have established a link with the events of May 3rd? It is difficult to seriously doubt these witnesses.

(Original translation by AnnaEsse here)